Course Summary

Practice Level: Beginner

Important note about this learning material: The information presented in this course explores child maltreatment and also elder and vulnerable adult abuse. Some information in this course is also presented in our longer course Child Abuse Assessment and Reporting.

The prevalence of child, elder, and vulnerable adult abuse is dire. Being knowledgeable and alert to risks and signs of abuse is critical in protecting vulnerable victims. Marriage and family therapists, psychologists, counselors, and social workers are in unique positions to observe and interact with children, vulnerable adults, and elders. This continuing education course will provide an overview of issues related to mandated reporting and support mental health and human services professions fulfil this important role.

Course Format

This course contains downloadable online lessons (PDF) and a practice test. When you’re ready, purchase the course by clicking the “Add To Cart” or “Enroll” button. This will let you take the test, complete the course evaluation and receive your certificate for CE credits.

Learning Objectives

  • Define child abuse and elder abuse.
  • Recognize risk factors, signs, and symptoms of child maltreatment and elder abuse.
  • Identify the role and requirements of the mandatory reporter.

Course Syllabus

  • Introduction
  • Child Maltreatment Definitions
    • Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA)
    • Parental Substance Use
    • Child Abandonment
    • Medical Neglect
    • Educational Neglect
    • Corporal Punishment vs. Physical Abuse
    • Specific Child Maltreatment Terms
  • Elder Abuse and Neglect Definitions
    • Physical Abuse
    • Emotional Abuse
    • Sexual Abuse
    • Abandonment
    • Financial Abuse
    • Self-Neglect
  • Risk Factors, Signs, and Symptoms of Child Maltreatment
    • Risk Factors for Child Maltreatment
    • Signs of Child Maltreatment
    • Symptoms of Child Maltreatment
    • Other Considerations for Child Maltreatment
  • Risk Factors, Signs, and Symptoms of Elder Abuse
  • Mandatory Reporting
    • Mandatory Reporting Professionals
    • Institutional Reporting
    • Process of Reporting
    • Rights and Responsibilities of Reporters
  • Summary


Teresa Crowe, PhD, LICSW

Teresa Crowe, PhD, LICSW is a licensed clinical social worker in the District of Columbia and Maryland. She is a professor of social work at Gallaudet University and teaches practice, theory, and research in the MSW program. Her recent research focuses on deaf and hard of hearing populations, especially in the areas of behavioral health, intimate partner violence, telemental health, well-being, and help-seeking.

Heidi Dalzell, Psy.D.

Heidi Dalzell, Psy.D. is a psychologist in private practice specializing in eating disorders, as well as dual addictions, trauma, domestic violence and depression. She conducts individual and couples therapy with adolescent and adult clients. In addition to authoring numerous mental health courses she frequently blogs and writes newspaper articles about mental health topics.

Accreditation Approval Statements is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. maintains responsibility for this program and its content., provider #1115, is approved as an ACE provider to offer social work continuing education by the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) Approved Continuing Education (ACE) program. Regulatory boards are the final authority on courses accepted for continuing education credit. ACE provider approval period: 08/08/21-08/08/24. Social workers completing this course receive 1 clinical continuing education credits. has been approved by NBCC as an Approved Continuing Education Provider, ACEP No. 6991. Programs that do not qualify for NBCC credit are clearly identified. is solely responsible for all aspects of the programs. maintains responsibility for this program and its content.

Courses have been approved by, as a NAADAC Approved Education Provider, for educational credits. NAADAC Provider #91345 is responsible for all aspects of the programming.

We are committed to providing our learners with unbiased information. CE4Less never accepts commercial support and our authors have no significant financial or other conflicts of interest pertaining to the material.

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